MadTrippin

The Amazing Race Meets National Lampoon’s Vacation

Andrew’s Day 7

Posted by madtrippin on April 14, 2008

Today we headed out to the desert.  First we went to the Ahava factory.  Ahava is really high end skin care products made from the minerals and mud from the Dead Sea.  I’m pretty sure that was for the ladies of the group.

 

After that we went to Mesada, which is where a Jewish sect of about 900 called the Zealots holed up against the Roman army for 3 years (year 70 AD).  The settlement/palace was built on the top of a mountain by Herod as an escape from the Romans (which he never even visited) and only accessible by a crazy climb or cable car.  Because it was so remote, the ruins are fairly well intact.  The photo is of the remains of the ritual bath area. 

 

On the way out, Gabe and I spotted another mullet.  We could take hundreds of mullet shots every day, but this one was funny because he was wearing a sailing hat.

 

By the time the Romans were almost able to enter the city, the entire population (aside from 3 women who hid in a water cistern) were dead.  The men had taken care of the women and children and then killed each other.  One of the remaining women killed the last man.  This is where we get the term “zealot” – from this Jewish sect.

 

We then went and saw where the area the dead sea scrolls were found – Qumran.  It was found in a cave (pictured) by two Bedouin (sp?) shepherd boys by accident.  They had lost their sheep and were throwing stones into the mouth of a cave to kill time and heard one stone crash into a jar, so they went to investigate and found the scrolls.

 

Next we went to the Dead Sea for a dip.  Of our group of 16, only 5 of us went in.  Because I went in, I didn’t get in pics.  My dad did and I’ll try and get those up before I get back.  The experience was awesome.  You float with zero effort and in as little water as 16 inches. 

 

As I mentioned in the entry about Ahava, the mud and minerals are used for skin care.  The water feels slippery or oily.  The mud is ultra-fine and you are supposed to smear it on your skin with positive effects.  It definitely exfoliates and your supposed to feel the effects for a few days after your swim.

 

We then went to Jericho, which is a Palestinian area.  It was interesting because it’s not a very popular place for tourist.  We saw a famous 2000 year old sycamore from the story or Jesus and Zacheus.

 

Finally, on the way home, our bus just about died.  The air conditioner crapped out, the bus sputtered to a stop and black water started pouring out of vents in the ceiling.  Eventually it got up and running and we limped back to the hotel.

One Response to “Andrew’s Day 7”

  1. Maria Holloway said

    Once again, it sounds like you are experiencing some pretty cool stuff. Man, I wish we were with you! However, I’m glad I didn’t have to experience the bus breakdown. (It reminds me of that one time…on a band trip…on the way to Winnipeg when our bus broke down in the middle of Canadian nowhere. I’m guessing it’s a bit more distressing to break down in -or near- Jericho. But hey, I’m no expert!) Anyway, I’m glad all is well and you made it back to the hotel safely!!! Miss you.

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